Is Dufnering a ‘real’ Word?

For Immediate Release

For more information, call 1.512.815.8836 or email info@LanguageMonitor.com

It is, indeed – because the global community of English Speakers has deemed it to be. 

AUSTIN, Texas,  August 15 — Dufnering can now be considered an English-language word, simply because the global community of English Speakers has deemed it to be. And the Global Language Monitor agrees.  Other words of recent sports vintage include vuveleza, tebowing, and linsanity.

“In a matter of days, dufnering, defined as appearing to be in a semi-conscious state,  oblivious to the people and activities around oneself, can be found in hundreds of thousands of citations the world over,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor.

GLM recognizes additions to the English language once they pass the following set of criteria: at least 25,000 citations in the global print and electronic media, with the requisite depth (appearing in a wide range and modes of communication) and geographic breadth.   Dufnering met these criteria earlier this week after Jason Dufner won the 2013 PGA Champonship at the Oak Hill Country Club outside Rochester, New York.  It is perhaps ironic that Dufnering first appeared in 2011 when Jason Dufner gained some notoriety after losing a playoff at the 2011 PGA Championship to his (now) good friend Keegan Bradley.

Dufnering is yet another eponym in the long list of English language words taken from actual person’s names.

More prominent eponyms include:

  • America
  • Boycott
  • Chauvinism
  • Diesel
  • Draconian
  • Euclidian
  • Jacuzzi
  • Nicotine
  • Nixonian
  • ObamaCare
  • Sandwich
  • Tesla
  • Tebowing
  • Volt
  • Zeppelin

France has its Académie française, Spain has the Real Academia Españolan and even Italy has the Accademia della Crusca, all to protect the purity of their mother tongues. In English, the practice for the last thousand years has been for the people to decide when a word is deemed a word by its widespread use and its acceptance by various constituencies and geographies.

However, even in English legacy dictionaries such as the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and Merriam-Webster’s, words are excluded until they pass the test of time — often ten years or more.  One example is that the scientific term ‘dark matter’ was only recently added to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, though college students had been studying the subject, and the global media discussing its implications, for a decade or more.

GLM estimates that a new English word appears every 98 minutes and that there are currently about 1,023,081.2 words in the English language.  There are currently about 1.83 billion people using English as a first, second, or business language.

GLM employs its NarrativeTracker technologies for global Internet and social media analysis. NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture about any topic, at any point in time.   NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 250,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.

About the Global Language Monitor

Austin, Texas-based Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices, and their impact on the various aspects of culture, with a particular emphasis upon Global English. Since 2003, GLM has launched a number of innovative products and services monitoring the Internet, the blogosphere, social media as well as the top print and electronic media sites.
For more information, call 1.512.815.8836, email info@LanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.

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